Querquedula circia (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 204 (1766) ; Gould, B. of E. pl. 364 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. v. pl. 17 ; Dresser, vi. p. 513, pl. 427 ; David and Oust. Ois. Chine, p. 532 ; Salvadori, Cat. B. Br. Mus. p. 293 ; Blanf. E. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. p. 449 ; Saunders, p. 435 ; (Lilford), vii. p. 98, pl. 39 ; A. querquedula, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 203 (1766) ; Naum. xi. p. 677, Taf. 303 ; Hewitson, ii. p. 409, pl. cxiv. fig. 1 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 1145.
Sarcelle d’ete, French : Marreco, Marrequinho, Portug. ; Patito, Cerceta, Span. ; Marzajola, Ital. ; Kndkente, German. Zomertaling. Dutch ; Atlingand, Dan. ; Knoeand, Norweg. ; Arta, Swed. ; Heinatavi, Finn. ; Tchirok-tres-kuntschik, Russ. ; Arasch, Arab. ; Chaitwa, Khira, Hindu. ; Shima-haji, Jap.
Male ad. (Denmark). Forehead dull chestnut marked with white, the crown and nape dark brown ; a white stripe from the eye to the nape ; sides of face and neck dark chestnut streaked with white ; back brown washed with ashy blue, the lower back bluer and irregularly barred with white : tail dark brown with narrow white margins ; wing-coverts clear blue-grey ; alar speculum green, on each side bordered with white ; elongated inner secondaries lavender-grey with black and white stripes along the feathers ; breast sandy brown with crescentic blackish bars ; lower breast and belly whitish, the flanks, vent, and under tail-coverts vermiculated and spotted with dark brown ; on each side of the vent a greyish patch ; bill blackish, at the base below flesh-coloured ; legs brownish plumbeous ; iris brown. Culmen 1.5, wing 7.7, tail 3.1, tarsus 1.1 inch. Female, general colour brown darker on the head, the feathers on upper parts margined with sandy brown and fulvous white ; wing-coverts, dull ashy grey, and the green speculum absent ; streak from the eye, malar region, and throat buffy white ; sides of head and lower neck streaked with brown ; breast rusty brown marked with white ; rest of under parts buffy white, the flanks mottled with brown. After the breeding season the male assumes a dress like that of the female, but retains the green speculum and lavender-blue wing-coverts.
Hab. Europe generally, from below the Arctic circle to the Mediterranean ; North Africa in winter south to Somaliland; Asia east to Japan, north to Kamchatka, south in winter to India, Ceylon, Borneo, Java, Celebes, and Ceram.
Frequents fresh-water, but seldom being found on the sea- coast, and feeds on vegetable substances, worms, insects, and larvae, occasionally on small frogs and fish ; its note is a harsh knack. It breeds in April or May, its nest being a mere depression in the ground in a morass, meadow, or in a reed-bed, and composed of rushes and dried grass mixed with down. Its eggs, 8 to 12 or 13 in number, are rather deeper creamy yellow than those of the Teal and measure about 1.87 by 1.35.
848. Querquedula circia